I decided that I would recap our last 14 episodes and the ideas that we are getting from the awesome interviews. I have really been so grateful for all of the people that we have had the opportunity to interview and I have some great podcasts ready for you starting with episode 16. I will be interviewing… well, I am getting ahead of myself. You will get that on Wednesday. For now, here are my TOP 10 HOMESCHOOLING IDEAS from the last 14 episodes.[su_heading size=”30″ margin=”40″]Top 10 Ideas[/su_heading]
10. Planners to track school goals and progress
The point of a planner is to help your children learn how to make goals; decide on short-term actions that will help them accomplish the goal; check on their progress; adjust their plan; move forward. Make sure the goals your children are balanced between difficult and reachable.
Another great use of the journal is to involve a parent that is not at home during the learning activities. In my case, I am at work when my wife is doing school. A journal that records their goals for the day, week, and month allows me an opportunity to follow up with my children about how they are doing.
9. Field Trips
These are the life blood for a homeschool family because it brings variety and excitement–especially when you go with other homeschool families. You can try all sorts of places. I list several on the podcast. Here are a few:
- State Capital
- Historic sites in your area
8. Creative Creative Writing assignments
Creative writing is one of the easiest things to do once you learn this little strategy. Check out this example.
7. Physical activities during the day
One of the biggest challenges in homeschooling might be one of the easiest to solve. Children that lose focus and struggle to concentrate for long periods of time. Give them a little physical activity and that problem may solve itself. I give two ways you can do this in the podcast. Try either one and let me know if it helps your children concentrate by leaving a comment below.
6. Locate leadership opportunities
A huge benefit for homeschool students when it comes time for college application time is the fact that they have such a flexible schedule. That could, if you were careful, translate into more opportunities to develop leadership skills and that WILL translate into college scholarships. Start now with those age-appropriate groups that are already established in your neighborhood, but be willing to think out of the box and give them original opportunities as well.
5. Unit studies for difficult subjects
What if your child hates math or biology? Is there a way to get them excited about the subject without punishments? Let me first ask: Is it possible with punishments? Probably not. So, what if you tried some form of a unit study. The example I use in the podcast is chocolate. You could study chemistry, math, geography, botany and so much more with a unit study on chocolate.
If you attach a difficult subject to a topic that interests your child, you will find that learning increases because of their interest. It happened for me when I was at Idaho State and it will happen for your children as well.
4. Khan Academy
This is my favorite app/web resource out there. AND IT IS FREE. I am going to be doing some tutorials on how to get the most out of it as a homeschool parent in the future. Keep your eye out for those. Until then, check out the website and the App:
3. Engage in the learning process yourself
The real power in teaching comes when the teaching is accompanied by example. Show your children that learning is a life-long pursuit and that it is important to you as well. Get a great book and as you read share with them the principles that you are learning about.
2. Jump in and get started!
So many parents feel the desire to homeschool, or the need homeschool, and yet they never do it. Why? Well, some worry about messing up their children’s future. Others don’t think they have the capacity or ability to teach their children. Still others are worried about finances and paying for everything. There are so many reasons that people have to not homeschool. Really, you only need a couple of reasons: (Insert your children’s names here).
Studies show that home educated students are scoring in the 87% of standardized tests right now. Holy smoke! Did you catch that? 87%. That is with parents that for the most part have not been professionally trained and have zero teaching certifications. You can do this. Besides, who taught your child to speak? walk? ride a bike? tie their shoes? Probably you. As a parent, your number one role is to be a teacher. You can do this. Just jump in and go. Cut yourself a little slack for the learning curve and have fun. You and your children will love it!
1. Get involved with a valuable homeschool community
I have some great ideas about building the 101 Homeschool Idea Community. We are launching our newsletter April 1 (and that is no April Fool’s Day Joke either). Every week you will get AWESOME and PRACTICAL ideas that you can easily implement with your children.
We are also preparing to launch a community member site this summer where homeschool parents can submit their ideas for their favorite subjects and then benefit from the submitted ideas from everyone in the community. The best way to make sure that you don’t miss out on this opportunity is join our newsletter. We will get the word out there first! So, how would you like to have a year’s worth of lesson activities ready before September gets here? Yeah, that is what I thought. Click here to join our newsletter. As a “thank you” I will give you my review of what I think are the best apps for math. 3 of the 4 are free!